20th May 2012 Newsletter

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St Mary Magdalene †      St Bartholomew †    St Alban †


Sunday 20th May 2012


As we move liturgically from Easter Season to Ascension we might the following poem uplifting:


We saw his light break through the cloud of glory
Whilst we were rooted still in time and place
As earth became a part of Heaven’s story
And heaven opened to his human face.
We saw him go and yet we were not parted
He took us with him to the heart of things
The heart that broke for all the broken-hearted
Is whole and Heaven-centred now, and sings,
Sings in the strength that rises out of weakness,
Sings through the clouds that veil him from our sight,
Whilst we our selves become his clouds of witness
And sing the waning darkness into light,
His light in us, and ours in him concealed,
Which all creation waits to see revealed .

Poet Unknown

May the risen Lord, who ascended into the Heavens remain permanent in our hearts and our lives

                                                                Fr Fred

13th May 2012 Newsletter

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St Mary Magdalene †      St Bartholomew †    St Alban †


Sunday 13th May 2012


For the beauty of the earth, For the glory of the skies……..

Shirley and I have just come back from a week’s holiday amongst the mountains of Colorado: expansive vistas of clear, blue, skies; rugged mountains with snow-capped peaks and deep, green valleys. It must be one of the most beautiful places on earth – along with Scotland - which is where I am convinced God lives, or that’s where I would live if I were God, but as I’m not….

Sadly, I may not be greatly stirred by music but I find visual beauty spiritually uplifting and the wonder of the creation does bring me closer to the Creator.

I had been to Colorado before and at that time, several years ago, I made myself a promise to return and now I have done. But this time I was able to share the experience with my wife and my grandson and that, for me, was a great privilege. To enjoy something by oneself is wonderful but to be able to share the experience with others, especially those close to you, is far greater.

However, it is a privilege and not a right and many, including members of our own congregations, are not in positions to do the same. We must remember that and, when we look up and count our own blessings, never take things for granted, realise that they can be fragile, sometimes very fragile, and always think of those who are not so fortunate.



6th May 2012 Newsletter

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St Mary Magdalene †      St Bartholomew †    St Alban †


Sunday 6th May 2012


Books, Glorious Books!

I am a sucker for books. I buy too many. My bookcases are groaning under the weight of the endless additions to my library. I love to have them around me, I don’t why, but somehow, they are comforting. But I should stop. I will never read them all. Yet, I think to myself ‘You never know, that book is certain to come in handy for a quote.’

Now, Fred, and other such technology buffs will say that I can now look up anything on the internet. Yet, somehow for me, the romance is lost through these technological marvels. There is nothing quite as satisfying as turning the pages of a well produced book.

So it was not surprising that last week I ended up buying a lovely edition called ‘the book of historical speeches.’From Elizabeth 1st rallying cry on the eve of invasion that ‘I know I have the body of a weak and feeble woman, but I have the heart and stomach of a King’, through to Martin Luther King and his famous dream. It has all the classics. The book even includes passages from Moses, Jesus Christ and St. Paul.

Last week we heard that the country has moved into recession again. Not great news for any of us. In light of this news perhaps my more appropriate reading material should be a speech by Franklin D Roosevelt in the middle of the Great Depression in 1933. Unemployment was rising and factories were closing he famously said ‘The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.’

We have to be guided by hope in our lives. In theory this must be the right approach but it is not straightforward to do as the economic problems increase across the world.                                                                                                                


29th April 2012 Newsletter

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St Mary Magdalene †      St Bartholomew †    St Alban †


Sunday 29th April 2012


Looking for directions

I heard that a team at Newcastle University has designed a Granny-Nav which will identify the safest route, avoiding too many right turns, for those senior citizens who may feel unconfident driving in unfamiliar surroundings; night vision systems have been devised too which will help with driving after dark. I slightly resent the ‘Granny’ label because these things are about needs, not age, but it’s still great news if it will help and encourage anyone who wants to maintain their independence and get out and meet other people, so combating isolation and loneliness.

I thought we could get them working on a Parent-Nav which takes you straight to best friend Charlie’s house and gives constant updates on when we’re going to get there. And then we’ll need a Man-Nav which chooses a route which avoids all shoe shops.I could go on….

And maybe there are people who’d like a Life-Nav that would tell us what to do in difficult situations; should I take that job?

Or, is that bloke good as well as good-looking? And the convoluted situations of life that make me ask, what would be the most loving thing to do now? And then, what can I do here that would bring a little life, love and liberty into the world?

I can hear some of my Church colleagues saying that that’s what the Bible’s for, and while there’s no doubt that it gives some very important guidelines, the Bible’s often a bit vague on twenty-first century issues in all their complexities.

I believe that we do have a Life-Nav in God’s Holy Spirit but we do have to tune in; timely words of wisdom can come in a song or a dream, from a friend or a book but it’s no good wishing for help if we’re not listening – and we learn to listen by being still now and again, stopping the clamouring, and reflecting a bit; losing ourselves for a moment in God’s love. 


Please remember in your prayers:

Les Page, Clarice, Vicky Schiff, Arthur Worwood,

Win Jones, Martin Gammon, Dela McCarteny, Frank Burdge,

Joan Short & Colin Brockwell.

PARISH PRAYER ROTA   This week we pray for

Worshipping Communities who share our buildings;

Clergy & Lay Ministers: Quintin, Fred, Frances, Ann & Shirley;

Staff: Brenda, Chrissie, Bill, May, June, Win & Mary;

Churchwardens: Andrew, Damian, Laurine, John, Philip & Ajith

Readings for 29th April 2012

Acts 4: 5-12         1 John 3: 16-end         John 10: 11-18

Readings for 6th May 2012

1 John 4: 7-21             John 15: 1-8

St Mary’s Birthday’s HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Ben Davies

St Bart’s Communion Hymns:   682; 383; 35

At St Bart’s this morning we warmly welcome Chris McDermott as our preacher and celebrant.


After many years of excellent service Tim has decided to hang up his calculator and give up his post as Parish Treasurer. If anybody would like to take up this roll please contact one of the clergy.

Tim is happy to give pointers as to what’s needed.

The Parish profile is now on the Diocese of Chelmsford website and also on our website.

The advert will be going in the Church Times on 11th & 18th May.

A copy of the Profile is available at the back of both Churches.

Frances will be away at Waltham Abbey until the end of June getting some experience of life in a different Parish. We wish her every blessing while she is away from us. While Frances is away please contact the Parish Office if there are any problems/concerns.


2nd June Dance at St Mary’s.

3rd June Picnic at St Mary’s to celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee

7th July Parish Trip to Maldon


21st/22nd July St Mary’s Patronal Festival Weekend

21st July Open Day at St Mary’s and Olympic Torch relay down High Street South

22nd July St Mary’s Patronal Festival


6th October Quiet Day at Haggerston.

East Ham Parish Quiz Night.

St Mary’s Church Hall – Norman Road

Saturday May 19th 2012, 7.30pm start.

Tickets £5.00, bring your own food and drink.

Tickets available from Colin Mansfield at St Mary’s and Irene Phaup at St Bart’s:

Tables of up to 8 people

In aid of the Parish Children’s Jubilee Party.


Our 12th trip to Stubbers Adventure Centre in Upminster is from 29th June – 1st July 2012. We have space for 30 children aged 8-16 to spend a residential weekend with a team of experienced adults where they will do Jet Ski, high-ropes, raft building and other great stuff. The cost is £55/child (the real cost is £120 so good value). Please e-mail Brenda at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for an application form and return to 292B Barking Road E6 3BAAS SOON AS POSSIBLE with a cheque made payable to"East Ham PCC".



Date: Saturday 12 May 2012        Time: 3.00pm

Venue: St Bartholomew’s Church.

(PS: tone deaf but talented in the kitchen? – all contributions towards refreshments gratefully received!)



                                                                    PARISH CHURCHWARDENS: Andrew Biro     Damian Sutton



St.Mary Magdalene Laurine Griffith   John King

St.Bartholomew Philip John        Ajith Leikshmanan



Doris Goodchild,   Ehi Omoregie,   Sam Ozurumba,   Norman Lipman

                                                                  Hazel Thomas, Mary Richards, Fred Ashford-Okai


                                                     St. Mary Magdalene Jean Mansfield, Ancil Griffith, Colin Mansfield,

                                                            Tina Preston, John Hedges, Terry Hooker, Dennis Pridmore, Victor Grimes

                                                   St. Bartholomew Geraldine Pote, Pat Williams, Primrose Sibanda,

                                                            Lorraine Ashton, Susan Allen, Gladys Carter, Rose Geaney, Hazel Phillips


DEANERY SYNOD  Shirley Biro, John King, Gordon Owen, June Bassenger



Wednesday 6.30pm at St Mary’s

Thursday 12.30pm at St Bart’s

The Parish Office is open Monday – Friday 9.30am – 3.30pm

Telephone 020 8470 0011

Website: www.easthamparish.org.uk

email:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Registered Charity No: 1127847

22nd April 2012 Newsletter

Posted in Parish

St Mary Magdalene †      St Bartholomew †    St Alban †


Sunday 22nd April 2012


You are Witnesses of Jesus


The vocation (or call) to faith, is not a trivial expression of God’s sense of humour but a generous extension of the divine to the human. Our response to this call from God completes the covenant.

The human response to God’s call is indeed a bold step that launches us, into a peculiar way of life: Christian (or Christ Way), and on the epic journey of untold experiences. On this journey, we are privileged to walk alongside Jesus, like his apostles and disciples did 2000 years ago. We are on the way to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35). Baptism and confirmation make this experiences present and real in time and space in the lives of each and everyone of us. We journey, with Christ walking beside us, talking to us and nourishing us. But do you hear His voice? Do you recognise him? The recent paschal/Easter liturgies revitalise these faith and sometimes even mystical experiences in all creation.

The vocation/call to Christian discipleship and mission becomes even more complicated and onerous by Jesus’ in today’s Gospel, asking us to be his WITNESS: “You are witnesses of these things."

Where do we start with this vocation/call to be Witnesses of Jesus ? It is quite easy to be Jesus’s witness when he performs those wonderful miracles: When water becomes wine, the lady with haemorrhage is made whole, five fishes and five loaves made to feed and satisfy the five thousand (without an additional trip to Tescos, Asdas, Green Street, or even East Ham market!), and indeed when He raised Lazarus out of the tomb - from death to life – those glorious moments! I would volunteer any time, any day to be Jesus’ witness.

But the Jesus experiences is not that simple, is it? Is this God-Made-Man recognizable to me lying in the poverty of a manger? Or when He is disgraced and spat at in the courts of Pontius Pilate? Do I really have to bear witness to Him, when He hangs dying on the Calvary cross? Even Peter had to deny Him then (three times!)

Perhaps the complexities and paradoxes of Jesus’ images mimic the paradoxes of our own humanity and lives. The happy faults of incarnation and Jesus’ vicarious suffering and death makes what is ours His, and what is His ours, gaining for us so great a Redeemer! (Exultet) YES! This is the irreversible POWER that accompanies God’s call/vocation to YOU.

Go therefore and witness to Jesus, without fear or shame in your life and with your life. Remember, Jesus walks beside you and He will whisper each time you need it: “PEACE BE WITH YOU”                         Fr Fred